Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Action 11: Member States to transpose the VAT Directive

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Member States should transpose by 2013 the VAT Directive ensuring equal treatment for eInvoicing with paper invoices.
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The Council adopted a Directive 2010/45/EU which sets out new VAT rules for e-invoicing and removes the obstacles to the uptake of e-invoicing by creating equal treatment between paper and e-invoices - also ensuring that no additional requirements are imposed on paper invoices.

Member States were obliged to transpose by 2013 the VAT Directive ensuring equal treatment for eInvoicing with paper invoices. The Commission requested Member States for the initial evaluation of the implementation of e-invoicing but almost no Member State could provide concrete data.

What is the problem? Different national VAT rules for paper and electronic invoices limit the use of e-invoicing

Member States adopted various domestic rules which govern the validity and acceptability of e-invoices within their own countries. This makes it difficult to use e-invoicing across the EU.

Compared to paper invoices, e-invoices offer huge advantages for companies. They can be processed quickly and cheaply with no postal delays or costs. The mass adoption of e-invoicing within the EU could generate savings of around € 240 billion over a six-year period.

Why is EU action needed? To extend the benefits of eInvoicing to cross-border transactions

The European market for electronic payments and eInvoicing is still fragmented (see also action 7). Only in an integrated payment market will it be possible for enterprises and consumers to rely on safe and efficient online payment methods.

What has the Commission done so far?

On 13 July 2010 the Council adopted Directive 2010/45/EU (amending Directive 2006/112/EC) which sets out new VAT rules for e-invoicing and removes the obstacles to the uptake of e-invoicing by creating equal treatment between paper and e-invoices, while also ensuring that no additional requirements are imposed on paper invoices.

On 16 April 2014, the European Parliament and the Council reached agreement on the Directive on e-invoicing in public procurement.

What will the Member States and the Commission do?

Member States were obliged to transpose this Directive into national law by 1st January 2013. The Commission regularly monitors the transposition of this Directive into national law.

Progress Report
Status: Completed Lorena BOIX ALONSO Contact
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